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It Ain’t Rocket Science, but Sock-Making Comes Close


By: Wall Street Journal
June 3, 2013

The Best of Them Cost $25, Last Forever and Don’t Smell Like Feet

NORTHFIELD, Vt.—Designing the world’s best sock takes more than just sweat.

Just ask Ric Cabot, a third-generation mill owner from here, who says he is out to sew “the world’s most uncompromising outdoor performance sock.” His Darn Tough Vermont line, a merino wool item, has 1,441 stitches per square inch, which he believes to be a record. The result, he says, is unique form-fitting softness.

“It’s what I call the math of the sock,” Mr. Cabot adds. “Before me, nobody was talking about stitches per inch.”

Darn Tough socks can withstand 30,000 “rubs” from a machine—seven times more than the next-best brand, and will hold up for life, he says. He tests his claims by wearing Darn Toughs for three weeks at a time without a single wash, simulating the beating a pair can take from potential fungus buildup or the unrelenting sweat of a long hike.

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